Right after touchdown at LAX we headed straight to HI Santa Monica to check in at our quiet hostel, then we grabbed some bikes from a rental around the corner and was off exploring.
Santa Monica was a great base with lots of shops, cafés etc around and the best was cycling down the beach road leading all the way down to Venice Beach. We were cycling through areas with hipsters, gangsters, tourists and classic american police cars standing along the way and people were rollerblading, cycling and skating along us with electrical skateboards. It sounds a bit cliché, but it was just like in the movies. I had the same feeling when I first visited here in 2010, seven years ago and the place hadn’t changed.
Being at a famil trip for my travel agent job, we also had to stop to do an inspection of Samesun Hostel which we sell. The hostel was right in the center of Venice Beach and the bar across the road was the perfect spot to have a couple of beers before cycling back home to Santa Monica where we had some fish tacos, which L.A is so famous for, before we hit the bed to recover from our jetlags.
If you count Kosovo as a country or not depends on your political opinion, but when Icamw here it felt very much so.
The people speak another language than they do in Serbia, they have another currency, they have their own license plates, passports, police, government and so on. Its young and almost free and also a bit wild.
We flew in on a saturday afternoon having spent the friday night out in Malmø, Sweden. Having seen the tourist sights in about an hour we headed straight out to enjoy some delicious cheap food and have some sunset beers in the street cafés.
This building was rated one of the Worlds Ugliest
Time went by fast chatting with other travelers we had met in the hostel and soon we found ourselves dancing in Hamam Jazz bar where there was a house music festival going on with live djs. We went from there to BASStore where we danced the night away before heading to Macedonia the next morning.
Arriving with the bus from Kosovo, we felt that we had come to a completely different place when our bus stopped in Skopje.
Unlike Pristina, which just had one small statue as a tourist sight, in Skopje you could see even bigger ones alll around. The area around the central plaza was all covered in white marble, trying to look as much like the Roman Empire as possible.
Skopje is also the birthplace of Mother Theresa and Alexander the Great was also Macedonian so there are plenty of memorials to honor these two names in the city.
Being a sunday, most things were closed except restaurants and bars so we ended up just relaxing with beers in the sun and walking to the fortress, the hill with the cable car running up to a cross and along the river. Just like the capital of Turkmenistan where they have the most Italian marble in the World, the city was a showcase in a beautiful natural setting. Skopje is like the Ashgabat of Europe.